In the last few years, the Internet has become a vital channel for freedom of information across the Arab World. It has been adopted as such by tens of thousands of bloggers and journalists as well as by human rights defenders and a broad range of civil society activists, including those lobbying for LGBTI rights who use the net to connect with their peers, to advocate for their rights and to fight against oppressive legislations and customs. But as the number of people using the Internet for more freedom of expression has grown, so has the awareness and capacity of repressive authorities to track, harass and threaten this growing freedom.
Several governments of the region have started to apply to social media and the Internet the set of attitudes that has already distinguished the Middle East as one of the most repressive environments for freedom of speech in traditional media. In this game of cat and mouse, many bloggers and human rights activists in the region remain under-informed about the security threats to which they are exposed when using modern communication technology.
Digital security is an ongoing process. You never can say: Now I did this, now I am safe. Every day, new threats and challenges appear. It is hard to do this on your own. Which is why we want to encourage you to join the Cyber Arabs community Cyber Arabs is a Digital Security Platform especially dedicated to the needs of activists and human rights defenders in the Middle East. You can connect with them through their Facebook page or visit their website for useful advise on how to stay safe online. Through their Facebook page, you can ask them any questions you might have about your email account, your privacy settings on Social Media, about risks of specific chat or dating apps, in brief: any question you might have related to the Internet. They would love to hear about newly discovered risks that you ran into or problems you have faced. You decide what security issue you want to talk about. When you send the Cyber Arabs team a question, they will try to get an expert to answer it quickly and as thorough and yet easy to understand as possible. Join Cyber Arabs on Facebook today and start a conversation. It might save an activist tomorrow.